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Written by: David Jacobs, Sales Manager

Thinking about investing in the North? You’ve probably considered buying in the big cities like Manchester and Liverpool. However, a more savvy move could be to look at somewhere a little more up-and-coming.

One place that fits the bill is the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan. Perhaps best known for its football and rugby teams, the area is quickly becoming one of the hottest locations to purchase property in the UK, with lots of opportunities in the real estate market.

Because of this, we’ve produced a full breakdown of Wigan and the surrounding area as a property investment location, using our two decades’ worth of experience as a property investment company to inform our advice. Let’s dive in.

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Wigan property investment guide

Wigan’s economic landscape

Economically speaking, Wigan has evolved significantly from its historical industrial roots. The metropolitan borough now boasts thriving creative, professional services, and food and drink industries, to name just a few.

Among its 12,000 businesses are the likes of Heinz, Waterfields, AB World Foods, Hitchens/Bakkavor and Arrow XL, underlining Wigan’s growing economic stature. Job opportunities are growing as a result, with more than 6,500 more jobs in Wigan in 2022 than twelve years previously, an increase of 6%.

Demographically, it’s home to around 12% of Greater Manchester’s total population, giving businesses access to a skilled and diverse workforce. Almost three-quarters of these (74.1%) are economically active, which is just shy of the UK’s percentage (78.8%).

All of this makes Wigan an attractive place to work and do business, which naturally has led to it becoming an increasingly popular real estate destination.

Wigan’s infrastructure and connectivity

Wigan has received significant infrastructure investment in recent times. Most notably, funding for a £135 million 84,000 sq foot Multi Media Centre (MMC) and leisure facility was announced in July 2023. Featuring a 700-seat cinema, a multi-lane bowling alley, indoor mini golf, and a climbing wall, the project is slated to help transform Wigan into ‘a night out destination’.

These plans barely scratch the surface of the district’s regeneration, however, with various other upcoming residential, commercial and recreational developments in motion. From the revitalised Wigan Civic Centre to 42 new Worsley Mesnes affordable homes, there’s plenty in the pipeline to further transform the area.

But all of this isn’t to say that Wigan doesn’t already have incredible infrastructure and connectivity. For instance, the area has consistently met its targets to build hundreds of new homes a year, while it also has excellent transport links — both internally and to regional hubs like Liverpool and Manchester. As part of this, Wigan has two train stations and is located near the A49 and A577.

The area also has an abundance of schools, healthcare facilities and cultural attractions — including many museums, parks and sports landmarks.

What we like about Wigan real estate investment

Let’s look at some of the main benefits of Wigan real estate investment in more detail.

  • Affordability: Compared to larger cities like Manchester or Liverpool, property prices in Wigan are generally more affordable. According to the Land Registry, the average Wigan property is worth £184,825 — more than £100k below the UK average and more than £40k less than nearby Manchester.
  • Rental yield: With a growing population and demand for rental properties, Wigan’s rental market can provide attractive yields for landlords. The region has average gross rental yields of around 4.52%, making it the third-highest Greater Manchester borough behind Salford and Manchester.
  • Potential for capital growth: While property prices in Wigan may be lower compared to larger cities, there is still potential for capital appreciation over the long term. As infrastructure and amenities improve, and demand for housing increases, Wigan property values look set to rise, offering investors opportunities for capital growth.
  • Transport links: Wigan’s strategic location — with good transport links to Manchester, Liverpool, and other nearby cities — enhances its attractiveness for commuters and tenants. Properties located near transportation hubs or major roads may command higher rental yields and appeal to a broader tenant pool.

What is the best buy-to-let area in Wigan?

Wigan and its surrounding areas offer significant real estate investment opportunities in both residential and commercial properties across the district. With its growing population, the demand for housing keeps increasing, while the rapid regeneration is sure to offer even more options for buying business-related properties. More specifically though, the best regions in Wigan for rental returns are WN2, WN7, and WN8.

Leigh, a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan, is also well worth exploring.

Property Spotlight: PRESTWICH HOUSE, Leigh

Unlike contemporary new-builds that often change a town’s personality, Prestwich House brings the historic style into the modern day. Maintaining the character of the old municipal college building, this restored collection of 27 boutique apartments in Leigh, near Wigan, offers a high standard of living while embracing its original heritage.

Wigan real estate investment: What to consider

  • Limited upside potential: While Wigan may offer the potential for capital growth, the pace of appreciation will likely be slower compared to larger cities or more dynamic markets. This could result in lower returns on investment over the short to medium term.
  • Economic factors: Wigan’s economy, while diverse, may still be influenced by broader economic trends or local factors. Changes in employment levels, industry trends, or government policies could impact property values and rental demand.
  • Infrastructure and development risks: While ongoing investment in infrastructure is a positive factor, there may be risks associated with delays or changes to planned projects. Additionally, new developments in the area could impact property values and rental dynamics.
  • Potential for oversupply: In some cases, there may be an oversupply of housing in certain areas of Wigan, leading to downward pressure on property prices and rental yields. Investors should assess supply and demand dynamics carefully before investing in specific neighbourhoods or property types.

The verdict: Is Wigan a good place to invest in?

All in all, Wigan can be a great place to purchase property. What’s more, with huge regeneration projects expected to further transform the area into a popular place to live and work, investing now gives you the chance to get ahead of the crowd.

That said, we recommend taking the following steps before committing to anything.

  • Work out your investment goals: What is it that you’re looking for by investing in Wigan? Is it consistent rental income, long-term capital growth, or a combination of the two? Only when you’ve worked this out can you pinpoint the right kinds of properties for your strategy.
  • Think about your risk tolerance: Property investment is inherently risky, so closely consider your risk appetite before buying real estate in Wigan.
  • Conduct market research: We’ve provided a useful overview of Wigan’s real estate investment market here, but you’re going to want to do a deep dive yourself before purchasing anything. Closely analysing aspects like the regional economy, the area’s demographics and real estate market trends will help you refine your strategy.
  • Have an exit strategy: Think about how you might exit the investment later down the line. Although the outlook for Wigan real estate investment is good, nothing is ever certain, so it’s best to be prepared for all scenarios.
  • Get professional advice: Working with professional property investors gives you the best chance of investment success. This is exactly what Alesco can provide you, with our team boasting significant experience in purchasing profitable properties in Wigan. From helping you to identify the right real estate opportunities to ensuring you have a foolproof exit strategy, we can supercharge your Wigan real estate investment efforts today.

Invest in Wigan and surrounding areas with Alesco

Using our two decades’ worth of experience, Alesco can help you find profitable properties on the market in Wigan. There’s a reason why we’re trusted by both new and seasoned property investors alike as their investment partners, and we can help you with all aspects of purchasing and profiting from real estate.

Be sure to check out our portfolio today, and don’t hesitate to contact us to find out more or to make an enquiry.

Written by: David Jacobs

Sales Manager

I specialise in working with high net worth investors across the globe that are looking to create and expand their existing property portfolio in the UK. I have close relationships with all my clients who trust the expertise and knowledge I have within the property industry. I also liaise with banks, receivers and some of the largest developers in the UK in order to source high yielding properties for my clients and to help ensure their long-term financial security.